Thursday 30 July 2020

Project Sign Off: Materiality & The Image


I have now experimented and really thought about what I would like to explore for my project this term.  My project sign off can be found here: Project Sign Off

Thinking more about the physical aspect of the image it used to be quite powerful to tear up or destroy physical photographs obviously now much more difficult! Natasha Curuana in her Fairytales for Sale, removed the faces from the images of women selling their wedding dresses.  She used these in her project to create a new narrative on the nature of women as a bride and beyond  'The image, however, undergoes a transformation from wedding photograph to sales image - and as this change takes place. the bride loses her identity.  She loses face' (Rogers & Houghton: 2017. P55)


Although not directly related to the work I am carrying out I thought the concept of the change in the use of the images was interesting and how this affected the viewers' perception of the images.  Context is everything and perhaps exploring out of context images could be a further area to explore!


Natasha Caruana (2020) Fairytale for Sale [Online] Available from: (Accessed 30/07/20)

Rogers F. & Houghton R. (2017) Firecrackers: Female Photography Now, Thames & Hudson. London. 

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Experiments with Materiality: Equipment & Techniques II

In the last post I worked on adding a photograph to the fabric in this post I will be adding a photograph to wood.  To do this I will be using Decal.  'Decal is a shortened form of decalcomania, from the original French d├ęcalcomanie, a technique for transferring prints onto pottery.'  ( 2020)It is a form of transfer paper that again I can put through my printer.  Being that we are in lockdown I have again scoured my house to find a suitable wood object that I would lie to transfer images onto. So here is the box that I have chosen:

16cm width x 7cm height

16cm width

16cm width

10cm x 10cm

I will now measure the dimensions of the box so that I can ensure the images can be resized to fit exactly as I would like them too - I will add the dimensions under each image.

Now for the images - a little while ago I made an army of dolls and these are the images I intend to place on the box 

So I began by printing the images onto the Decal paper - I did this at high quality plain paper as instructed.  I made these the right sizes for the box dimensions and printed at 300dpi

I then cut these out very carefully and placed them in a bowl of water - this releases the backing and makes them sticky for the box.

I then very carefully removed from the water the image - this is very thin translucent and delicate, I placed this on the wooden box in position and the with a clean paintbrush brushed turpentine onto the image so that it would adhere to the box and also become part of the wood 

Once I had completed all sides I needed to leave these to dry for at least 24 hours to ensure I do not disturb the work.

Here are some images of the completed box...

I am actually very pleased about how these images came out on the box  - they really embed into the wood and I am glad I chose to use coloured images here as the colour of the head works very well on the box.  With this in mind I think this will be the process I will use in my final project for this term.  

References (2020) Definition: Decal [Online] Available from: (Accessed 28/07/20) 

Tuesday 28 July 2020

Experiments with Materiality: Equipment & Techniques

As I have been discussing in my previous posts I wanted to explore materiality and the image so to do this I searched my drawers at home and I discovered that I had some T-Shirt transfer paper and some Decal for inkjet paper.  In this post, I will go through the T-Shirt Transfer process.

The T-Shirt transfer paper is a fairly simple way of adding an image to material, as this is light T-Shirt transfer paper (just cheap stuff from Wilkinsons) the cloth/material needs to be white or pale/pastel coloured for this to work.  

Photo Paper & Printers | Jeff Scowen: The Film Photography Wholesaler Since  1982

The process for this is fairly straightforward as I just need to find a photograph I would like to use and for my project, I will take specific images - however, for this experiment, I will use this image taken recently: 

I am going to use this one as I think the textures and the black and white will work really well on white cloth.  So I have loaded the transfer paper into my printer as directed. My printer does not have a transfer paper setting so I have flipped the image manually just using the desktop photo editor and then saved this as a copy.  I then go to the image and set to print on high-quality paper.  

Once this has printed onto the paper I will leave this to dry to ensure that I do not smudge or degrade the print.  I will then put this image onto cloth/material.  This will require another search of my house to find suitable material for the purpose! This is okay as my printer is taking some time to print for high quality!

Just discovered I have some calico stashed away and this will be perfect as it has a slightly creamy colour and its texture is a little rough so I think it might really bring out the textures in the image. Calico is essentially a not fully processed cotton, unbleached material 

On Trend Fabrics Calico 100% unbleached Cotton Fabric - 150cm wide medium weight cream colour - sold by the metre

It is quite cheap - mine still has a price of £3.00 for 1.6 x 1 metre.  Although from buying this material for the college we have noticed an increase in the price recently.  I will now iron the material so that there are no creases.  I then place the printed image face down onto the material on the ironing board.  The iron is on the highest setting with no steam.  I then place a tea towel over the top of the backing paper and begin to iron in smooth circular motions as directed to ensure that the heat is distributed evenly.  I apply heat for between 90 - 120 seconds, once I am satisfied the transfer has adhered I leave this to cool and then I can remove (very carefully) the backing sheet.

The results were good please see the images below:

As you can see the image is now on the fabric - I think it looks better in real life as that is the point really to feel the fabric and the image in your hands - the texture of the material and the image worked well together and this I may use in my work.  My next post I will trying out Decal .... on wood!

Thursday 9 July 2020

Further Research: The Turin Shroud - Materiality & The Image

'The Shroud of Turin is an ancient linen cloth about 15 feet long by 4 feet wide (4.4 by 1.1 meters) that bears the image of what appears to be a crucified man's body. On display at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, it is one of many shrouds claimed over the centuries to be the one true burial cloth of Jesus.' (Choi: 18.07.18)  Fake or not the idea of the trace of a body left on the cloth is fascinating and in terms of this being a 'photograph' it is very close as a reproduction of a live image, a moment in time recorded.  If it is medieval then this is still a very well preserved moment of, perhaps, an unknown man.  It is a thought an artist made this shroud and what an art it is!  Considering this and the work of Ana Mendieta who worked on leaving traces of her body in the landscape.  Mendieta made a series of films that explored different techniques for leaving traces and these included 
'video and Cinefluography (X-ray motion film)' (Tate 2020) 

Ana Mendieta X-ray c.1975, film still. Copyright The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, L.L.C. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co. and Alison Jacques Gallery

The X-ray is an amazing invention allowing us to literally see inside ourselves and this is what we are biologically a suit with bones and blood and nerves.  I would like to explore how I can explore this further with traces of myself inside and out this could be using techniques like printing onto cloth or photographic techniques that find their way inside me....

Helen Chadwick also used her inner self and others and animals creating materiality and performance that could be horrifying and beautiful in equal measure.  This work Enfleshings below she thought resembled a male torso 

Main View

This 'image is an enlarged close-up view of raw meat. A light bulb containing an illuminated coil is embedded just below the centre of the meat in Enfleshings I. Fissures in the flesh below it evoke vulvic openings. The steak in Enfleshings II has striations resembling the delineation of pectoral muscles on a male torso.' (Tate 2020)

I am very interested in the materiality of the image and how to create that using photography. I will explore these ideas further and begin to make some samples of the work I would like to explore...


Choi C.Q. (18/07/18) Live Science: Shroud of Turin Is a Fake, Bloodstains Suggest
[Online]Available From: (accessed 09/07/20)

Tate.a (2020) Ana Mendieta: The Earth that Covers Us Speaks [Online] Available from: (accessed 09/07/20)

Tate.b(2020) Helen Chadwick: Enfleshings [Online] Available from:

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Object Lesson: Saint Veronica

Saint Veronica is the Saint of Photographers' and so obviously she is a great inspiration for a project.  Saint Veronica is famous for the Turin Shroud, this is the cloth that was offered to Jesus upon his crucifixion to wipe his face. The imprint on of his face transferred to the cloth.  It is believed the Vatican has the shroud and it is one of their most treasured possessions.

'Legend states that as Christ was walking to Calvary, his face dripping with sweat and blood, Saint Veronica, a bystander, was moved with compassion. She approached Jesus and offered Him a cloth, likely her veil, which He accepted and used to wipe His face.

The image of his face was subsequently imprinted on the cloth.

There are no legends from the period which speak of Veronica either before or after her act of compassion. We do not know when she was born or when she died. She is literally lost to history. However, the cloth may still exist today, kept safe at St. Peter's in Rome.' (Catholic Saints Online: 2020)

So Saint Veronica is a bit of mystery but there were copies made of the shroud and it is unclear whether the Vatican has the original or a copy.  This is interesting the problem with photography in now is the reproduction which is prolific as soon as an image is placed on the internet making it essentially lose its value as a unique image.

Jean Baudrillard understood the importance of the real and copy he stated that:  “It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody. It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real” ("The Precession of Simulacra" 2). Baudrillard is not merely suggesting that postmodern culture is artificial, because the concept of artificiality still requires some sense of reality against which to recognize the artifice. His point, rather, is that we have lost all ability to make sense of the distinction between nature and artifice.' (Purdue University: 2002) Interesting as all things are connected Zurbrugg who I was speaking of in my last post was an expert on Baudrillard and edited a book Jean Baudrillard: Art and Artifact (which proudly sits ion my bookshelf - sorry a little aside there! More of that perhaps later.

The point here is from Saint Veronica many ideas have formed and how I could use these in a project need to be explored here, so first thoughts: 

Consider making photographs and outputting these on cloth - they then have the uniqueness of being a material object - the theme would perhaps be on acts of kindness

Consider the idea of reproduction and how this affects photography - either deliberately create prolific reproduction or create something that cannot be copied through the materiality of the image. 

Make something 'real' and something 'copied' and go with Baudrillard's theory that no difference can be seen between nature and artifice. 

Create an article on photography discussing Saint Veronica and the beginning of photography

So here are my first thoughts ... I shall one of these in more depth in my next post.


Catholic Saints Online (2020) Saint Veronica [online] Available from: (Accessed 01/07/20)

Purdue University (2002)  Module on Baudrillard: Simulation II [online] Available from: (Accessed 01/07/20)

Zurbrugg N. (1997) Jean Baudrillard: Art and Artefact, Sage Publications, London